Tag Archives: hearing research

Spectral iQ

This paper introduces a new method for frequency lowering in hearing aids. Many individuals with high-frequency hearing loss do not have access to the highest frequency components of speech. Technologies such as Spectral iQ are designed to move the highest frequency information to lower frequencies, which for most patients results in increased audibility for those sounds.

Spectral iQ Technical Paper

Galster, J.A., Valentine, S., Dundas, J.A., & Fitz, K. (2011). Spectral iQ: Audibly improving access to high-frequency sounds. Starkey Laboratories, Inc. Technology Paper.

Are you prescribing an appropriate MPO?

Appropriate prescription of MPO is an often overlooked parameter. A fair amount of research exists that would suggest inappropriate application of MPO will significantly decrease the likelihood of hearing aid acceptance. In this article review Dr. Kuk and colleagues discuss some possible negative outcomes related to the under-prescription of MPO. The authors go on to suggest that the addition of digital noise reduction may mitigate some of these negative outcomes.


Kuk, F., Peeters, H., Korhonen, P. & Lau, C. (2010). Effect of MPO and noise reduction on speech recognition in noise. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, submitted November 2010.

Are our fine-tuning adjustments consistent with the patient’s complaints?

In this throwback to 2003 Jenstad and colleagues completed a study that evaluated consistency in interpretation of patient complaints and the actions that would be taken to address these complaints. Their findings show excellent agreement between the interpretation and subsequent actions made by two independent groups of survey respondents.


Jenstad, L.M., Van Tasell, D.J. & Ewert, C. (2003). Hearing aid troubleshooting based on patient’s descriptions. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 14 (7).

Recommendations for fitting patients with cochlear dead regions

Clinically many audiologists may struggle with deciding how to best to prescribe hearing aids when a patient has been diagnosed with cochlear dead regions. The September blog update discusses a recent article from Dr. Robyn Cox and colleagues at the University of Memphis. The authors completed a large scale study, evaluating some outcomes for patients who were diagnosed with cochlear dead regions. Their conclusions offer direction for the fitting of hearing aids.


Cox, R.M., Alexander, G.C., Johnson, J. & Rivera, I. (2011).  Cochlear dead regions in typical hearing aid candidates: Prevalence and implications for use of high-frequency speech cues. Ear & Hearing 32 (3), 339-348.

A preferred speech stimulus for testing hearing aids

Do you use a speech stimulus when testing hearing aids? With so many options for real-ear measures it’s difficult to select between noise, synthetic speech or real speech. Each of which may yield different measurement results. Ideally we would have a standardized speech stimulus for testing hearing aids. This month’s post summarizes the development of the International Speech Test Signal (ISTS) a speech stimulus designed for testing hearing aids. Within a few years this stimulus should be available in most real-ear equipment and can currently be regarded as the preferred stimulus for the verification of modern hearing aids.

Holube, I., Fredelake, S., Vlaming, M. & Kollmeier, B. (2010). Development and analysis of an international speech test signal (ISTS). International Journal of Audiology, 49, 891-903.


Awash in a stream of wireless solutions

This month’s issue of Audiology Practices includes an article that discusses methods for streaming audio (television and telephone) to modern hearing aids. With multiple options for wireless communication with hearing aids selecting among these technologies can feel daunting.

Awash in a stream of wireless solutions

Galster, J.A. (2011). Awash in a stream of wireless solutions. Audiology Practices, 3(2), 26-29.


Will placing a receiver in the canal increase occlusion?

Have you ever wondered if those boxy receivers on RIC products increase objective or subjective occlusion? In this article summary we discuss observations from Vasil-Dilaj and Cienkowski, who find that most receivers are not sufficiently occluding to have a negative impact.


Vasil-Dilaj, K.A., & Cienkowski, K.M. (2010). The influence of receiver size on magnitude of acoustic and perceived measures of occlusion. American Journal of Audiology, 20, 61-68.


Does expansion decrease low level speech understanding?

In our June blog post Dr. Stevens and I review:

Brennan, M., & Souza, P. (2009). Effects of expansion on consonant recognition and consonant audibility.Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 20, 119-127.


Expansion algorithms decrease hearing aid output at very low input levels improving comfort and avoiding amplification of low level environmental sounds (like the refrigerator). In this article the authors document decreased speech understanding when using aggressive expansion. The importance of validated expansion logic is highlighted by these observations.

Understanding the best listening configurations for telephone use when wearing hearing aids

This month’s article review discusses:

Picou, E.M. & Ricketts, T.A. (2010) Comparison of wireless and acoustic hearing aid based telephone listening strategies. Ear and Hearing 31(6), 1-12.

Telephone use is a challenge for many people with hearing loss. Hearing aids can be helpful, but with many options for telephone listening selecting the best option for a patient can be challenging. This month’s study review highlights options and considerations for telephone use that include, wireless streaming, telecoils, or acoustic listening; as well as additional considerations for open-canal fittings.


Benefits of increasing compression channels in hearing aids

This month’s article review discusses:

Yund, W.E. & Buckles, K.M. (1995).  Multichannel compression hearing aids: Effect of number of channels on speech discrimination in noise. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 97(2), 1206-1223.

Audiologists usually make recommendations for hearing aid style based on audiometric configuration, manual dexterity and anatomical variables, but the choice of technology level is often based on a patient’s lifestyle.  This month’s reviewed study supports the value of multiple channels of processing for better patient outcomes, which is one major consideration for hearing aid users who participate in activities in challenging listening environments. Specifically, their study showed benefits for instruments with up to 8 channels of processing, a delineation that differentiates many entry-level hearing aids from their more sophisticated counterparts.